Motif #1 Fishing Shack - $6.95
Battered and broken by the great winter storm of 1978, Motif No.1 collapsed, and in an eye blink, was swept out of Rockport harbor. Within the year, a duplicate had been built and repainted to look as good as new. The merited debate over rebuilding the motif has subsided through the 20 some years.
Rockport's Motif #1 Red Fishing Shack
Battered and broken by the great winter storm of 1978, Motif No.1 collapsed, and in an eye blink, was swept out of Rockport harbor. Within the year, a duplicate had been built and repainted to look as good as new.
The merited debate over rebuilding the motif has subsided through the 20some years, those who might have wished the Motif to never resurface, would have welcomed a bumper sticker reading, "Stamp Out Motif No.1!" Yet today we celebrate "Stamp Out!" Motif No.1 - the featuring of the Motif Scene on the Massachusetts stamp as part of the "Greetings from America" postage stamp set.
The stamp set harkens back to the 1930s -1940s era of 'large letter' postcards. And it is within that time span that the allure of Motif No.1 was created, refined and marketed. rockport ma motif#1 fishing shack model
But the Motif was there before it was there...
This building is VERY popular with NE visitors. Back in the 1960s,one of the RR magazines had an article for building it from balsa wood.
If 2 sets are printed, not only do you get extra windows, you can cut out battens for the board and batten siding and glue the mover the printed battens. Way cool.
This is so cool, My aunt painted on occasion and so as long as I remember there were these two paintings of this shack on our walls. I think one of my siblings has them now. but this model is perfect,I will have to build several and send them to my bros,and sisters....sparky
Beautiful Motif #1!
"I think the card models look even better than the real thing. Living just north of Rockport, I've spent plenty of time there sightseeing, relaxing, scuba diving.
AARRGGHH Matey!!Where be the Hispaniola ye scurvy knave!?!? (quaitenaice warehouse, old boy!!)....Derek
We gotta have the fishing boat to tie up at the pier! Isn't there one already in the archives somewhere?.....James
James, yes there is a Lobster/Fishing boat!
Rockport's Motif #1 Red Fishing Shack History Page
Battered and broken by the great winter storm of 1978, Motif No.1 collapsed, and in an eye blink, was swept out of Rockport harbor. Within the year, a duplicate had been built and repainted to look as good as new. The merited debate over rebuilding the motif has subsided through the 20some years, those who might have wished the Motif to never resurface, would have welcomed a bumper sticker reading, "Stamp Out Motif No.1!" Yet today we celebrate "Stamp Out!" Motif No.1 - the featuring of the Motif Scene on the Massachusetts stamp as part of the "Greetings from America" postage stamp set. The stamp set harkens back to the 1930s -1940s era of 'large letter' postcards. And it is within that time span that the allure of Motif No.1 was created, refined and marketed.
But the Motif was there before it was there...
Bradley Wharf had been an active fish landing and storage area since the American Civil War. As the fishing industry increased and as the immediate offshore areas around Straitsmouth and Thachers became desired fishing grounds, the original Motif building set affirm on granite foundation, offered convenient and immediate storage for gear and fish. A succession of individual owners including Howard Hodgkins, George and John Tarr, gave way to the Rockport Pier Company.
The first amalgam of the Motif with tourism occurred with the visits by the US Naval Fleet each summer to Sandy Bay. Fleet visits commenced in the late 1890s and continued up through the 1930s. The great battleships, anchored off Granite Pier and the Headlands, issued launches to bring tourists out to the ships for daily inspections. Visits by the "Great Fleets" grew to be one of the North Shore's premier summer events, advertising in Boston papers suggested that people rendezvous next to the "fish shack on the rocks;" upwards of 8 launches at a time embarked from both sides of Motif No.1.
The Motif settled into a peaceful coexistence between the fisherman and the tourist. A Charles Cleaves photo from 1930 taken from the backside of the Motif shows a group of tourists waiting for a launch. This while the inner side of the Motif, facing the town, remains a working pier. In the first brochure 1927 published by the Board of Trade, a line illustration by John Buckley (soon to purchase the shack for his own studio) reveals a fisherman in profile with basket of fish in hand along the wharf, the Motif in the background.
And for decades since, this is how the Motif has been profiled, a suffering backdrop for painters painting the Motif and harbor, cigarette ads, photographs for kodak film., all deploying the imaged Motif.
In 1933 the Rockport Legionnaires built a 27 foot replica float of the Motif which was driven out to the Chicago World's Fair of 1933 for participation in the American Legion's Convention. The project ultimately involved the entire town- Rockport Art Association members were centrally committed as Aldro Hibbard oversaw the design and construction and Anthony Thieme headed the painting of the float, half-boat sideboards and drop clothes. Townspeople contributed materials and handwork to create a perfect illusion.
Driven only by day from Bearskin Neck to Chicago on the Great Lake, each night the float would stop, floodlights would be set up and brochures on Rockport passed out to that night's town's people. The first great national marketing campaign for Rockport then, was championed by Motif No.1. The enchantment lasted beyond the trip for once the float made it to Chicago, it was berthed 3 days at the naval pier, where word spread and Chicago's citizenry, and the Legionnaires hastened to take pictures. The day of the Legion parade, the float took first place in the historic float competition and returned to a huge welcoming parade of over 4.500 people lining the street down Five Corners.
The float faded away,
the Motif endured. In 1945, the town of Rockport purchased the
Motif as a monument to Rockporters who had served in the Armed
In 1950 with the completion of the 'Demon Road' (Route 128) and the A. Piatt Andrew Bridge, the entire Cape Ann community was at once susceptible to the whimsy of the day traveler. Businesses realized that "If people don't get their monies worth, they move on." Two shrewd marketing moves were initiated by the Rockport Board of Trade and chairwoman Melissa Smith.
'The Rockport Anchor,' a yearly recycling of Rockport history, lore, events and topical information, began publication in 1950. By its third issue the cover was devoted to the image of the Motif. As the times changed, so did the imagery cycling from line art, to photography and then back to paintings of "that darn Motif." The second great move was the creation of Motif No. 1 Day.. A late May Saturday celebrated spring and the return of the business cycle; at its height, Motif No.1 Day included, costumed characters, parades, and judged window decorations by shops up and down Beaskin Neck.
The day enveloped and outlasted Rockport's Old Home Day. On Motif Day 1998, to comemorate dual anniversaries - the 20th anniversary of the rebuilding of the Motif and 65th anniversary of the Motif float's visit to Chicago, I received permission to open the Motif for a public walk through. Over 150 locals and visitors came through that day. This personal, slight addition to the Motif tradition will now continue for a fifth consecutive year this coming May.
In 1942, Aldro Hibbard organized Rockport artists to paint the old fish house, four galleons of crank case oil were added to a red paint mixture to prevent glare, and he warned them to "keep away from that barn red." His foresight to keep away the glare has served Motif No.1 well. Motif No. 1 is where the land meets the sea, while we would like to claim personal immortality against the elements, the Motif reveals a quiet weathering before the winds and tides and sea and Cape Ann light.
©2002 by Leslie D. Bartlett.
It was in the late 1600s that fishermen from Ipswich (a small town located just north of Cape Ann) came to Rockport. During the 1700s Rockport was a small fishing village, but Rockport's history took an unusual turn after the turn of the next century. In the 1820s, the need for granite around the country and the world was high, and Rockport had high quality granite. Rockport is also located directly on the ocean, which made the transportation of the granite easier than an inland location. During this time, granite was in high demand and Rockport was furnishing most of the country's granite. As the town's industry boomed, its inhabitant's became known as the "quarry people."
The Custom House Tower in Boston, said to be the tallest building in the country without a steel frame, was built with Rockport granite. And granite from Rockport was also used in the locks of the Panama Canal. Rockport was known then (and almost named) Granitetown, but was incorporated as the town of Rockport in 1840. Eventually the increase in use of cement and other building materials spelled the death knell for Rockport's granite industry, but the remnants can be seen at a few locations around Rockport, which are mentioned in the "Things To Do" section.
During the mid- 1800s, artists and writers came to the area, inspired by the area's rugged scenic beauty. The first art studio was established in 1873, and traveling artists roamed the streets at this time looking for portraits and scenes to paint. For years since, Rockport has been an important contributor to American painting, sculpture and other art forms, and one of the attractions to Rockport are the number of galleries here, some with international reputations.
This quiet lobstering community is a "dry" one as well, due to an unusual event in 1856. Tired of the affect alcohol was having on the local men, Hannah Jumper and a group of supporters went on the Women's Raid of 1856, destroying every bottle of liquor in the town's drinking establishments. To this day, Rockport sells no alcohol, and in a town meeting vote on the issue taken within the last few years, residents continued to uphold the "dry town" designation. This is not a problem for visitors, just something to be aware of for your convenience. Restaurants invite you to bring your own wine or spirits and will provide setups for a small charge, and of course you can bring wine and liquor to your inn for your own use, but you'll have to buy it in neighboring Gloucester.
The town of Rockport consists of three primary areas: The South End, Downtown and Pigeon Cove.
The South End is mainly made up of residential areas along the rocky coastline, a beautiful area for a drive, walk or bike ride. There are several inns in this area, and this is a nice area to stay if you prefer quiet, out of the way spot.
The Downtown is the center of activity, most located along Dock Square, Bearskin Neck and Main Street. Bearskin Neck, named by fishermen who saw the bearskin John Babson had left to dry on the rocks, is known for its artists who have set up their shops in the fishermen's shacks of the past. These art studios are now mixed in with a number of other specialty shops and restaurants, and "walking the neck" can interest you for a few hours or a few days, when combined with the adjacent shops and restaurants on Main Street and throughout Dock Square.
It is on Bearskin Neck that the famous "Motif #1", one of the most painted and photographed scenes in America, which has been featured in the "America The Beautiful" exhibit at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. This lobster shack is no longer in use, but is kept up as a town symbol.
The entire downtown area, with its large number of restaurants and small eateries, shops, galleries and other offerings, is an attraction in and of itself, and bustles with activity just about all year. There are also boat tours that leave from the wharves here on whale watch and other excursions. There are a number of small inns and B&B's within walking distance of Dock Square, and if you want to be close to the downtown, there are a number of choices. There are also two beaches downtown, and these are best reached by walking, because the parking during beach season is not plentiful. If you're staying at an inn near downtown, however, it's an added bonus to know you can walk to a nice beach. (http://www.seecapeann.com/see_rockport.html)
It's cute even when it's closed!
A Rockport, Mass Porch